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East Hills Mall prepares to reopen May 6th

Staff said shoppers can expect a different mall experience.

Posted: May 1, 2020 3:12 PM
Updated: May 4, 2020 10:54 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) East Hills Mall won't look so empty come Wednesday, May 6th. 

While most businesses are allowed to reopen on Monday, St. Joseph residents will have to wait two more days to shop at the local mall. 

“I think there’s going to be a surge of traffic. I think people will be excited to get out,”said Mike Eaton, East Hills Mall Operations Director. 

Starting May 6th, St. Joseph residents can get their shopping on. 

“The mall will be open to the public, but we can’t guarantee that every single store will be open on the sixth,”said Tyson Huff-Garza, East Hills Mall Marketing Director. 

Eaton notes that while the mall will be open,“Individual stores will handle their policies themselves and they’ll have their own rules and regulations, but we’ll handle the common areas of the mall.”

East Hills Mall will be regulating the food court and playground.

Staff said shoppers can expect a different mall experience. 

“They’ll see tables missing from the food court, there won’t be stools at the high top bar, they’ll notice the kids play area will be removed. It’s just for everyone’s safety; it’s gonna look a little different,”said Huff-Garza. 

That means, no merry go round and added floor decals.

Staff will be back to work Monday to get acclimated to the new normal. 

“So on Monday, we’ll have all of our employees come back for training with the new covid-19 regulations and then we’ll start disinfecting the whole mall again,”said Eaton. 

All mall staff will be required to wear masks and get their temperatures taken before starting their shift. 
While positive COVID-19 cases are on the rise in St. Joseph, mall managers don't expect people to use the mall to lounge. 

“They’re gonna drop in, get their needs and go. I don’t know if it will be so much of a hang out until we get through this. I think the consumers are smart and they’ll take care of it,”said Huff-Garza. 

As far as staffer's eagerness to get back to work, Eaton said,“I think we’re excited, we’re putting measures in place that I can’t say will ensure our safety, but will help keep us safe.”

East Hills Mall is also limiting their operating hours.

They will be open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

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Rain chances continued on Tuesday afternoon for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Shower chances continue throughout the day Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. Wednesday we will see cooler temperatures across the area with highs only in the lower 40's. Temperatures will be on the mild side in the 40s and 50s into the later half of the week.
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